Making Money from Photography
For most photographers, taking pictures is a hobby. It is an enjoyable and creative way to pass the time, but not something that has any financial remuneration. This is, of course, absolutely fine – photography is one of the most popular hobbies in the world, and rightfully so.
However, some photographers wish to take their hobby a little further.
Even if you don't want to make the leap into full-time professional photography, there are plenty of ways of monetising your photographs, and earning a bit of extra cash doing something that you love.
Build Your Own WebsiteA website is no longer the preserve of big companies or bigger geeks. Free software like Wordpress or Blogger make it possible for everyone to build a website in a matter of minutes. Obviously, customising the site to your tastes may take a little longer, but the basic process is simplicity itself. A presence on the Internet is your first step to making money from photography.
Sell AdvertisingSimply having a patch of space on the Internet will not, in itself, make you any cash. One of the most effective ways of making money from your new website is through selling advertising space. Services like Google AdWords or the DoubleClick Marketplace will provide your site with text- or image-based adverts that you can position as you wish. Depending on your arrangement you will then be paid every time someone views or clicks on one of these ads.
Sell PrintsThe Internet has made the process of selling prints remarkably easy, and has increased your potential customer base by a factor of millions. There are several services that will allow you to make high quality prints from digital files, in a cost effective manner. Some of these services can be integrated with your website, meaning that the entire process, from order to delivery, is performed by a third party company. Alternatively, you may wish to consider hand printing or framing images and trying to sell them to local galleries, bars, pubs and cafes.
Contribute to Microstock ServicesMicrostock is gradually changing the face of commercial photography. Rather than paying hundreds of pounds for commercial images, publishers can now purchase high quality, high resolution images for next to nothing. Think about putting together a portfolio of stock images and uploading them to a microstock site. You will keep all the rights, and you might make a bit of cash. Keep adding new, high resolution images to your portfolio in order to maximise your chances of making a sale.
Clearly, the Internet has revolutionised the way in which photographers of all kinds make money from photography. You need not be a computer expert to make the most of these opportunities, as the vast majority are simple and accessible for all but the least computer literate.
Of course, it is still possible to make money from photography in more traditional ways. You might want to do the odd portrait or wedding shoot, for example. You should be aware, however, that even if you don't consider yourself a professional photographer, you clients will. As such, you must ensure that the work you provide is of the highest standard.